The Spirit of St. George

by Raul Faria

I was lucky to taste some of St. George Spirits…well spirits:) St George distills out of Alameda California (yep they’re the Hangar One guys) and they have been specializing in artisanal Eau de vie (distilled fruit spirits) since 1980 and are now moving into all spirit categories with that same artisanal vibe they brought to their line of Eau de vies. Master Distiller Lance Winters is definitely someone with a passion for his craft and it comes through in the final products. Most of what I tried was exciting, fun and different. You could tell that they were distilled with care and at the same time I would also say whimsy. These guys love what they do.

I’m going to share with you my impressions on what I tasted. Here at Mixology Made Simple we are all about…well…making stuff simple. So when it comes to tasting, remember that there is never a right or wrong answer. Only your individual impressions of what your experience with whatever you tried was. Simple right? Never be afraid to say “Hey I think this gin tastes a little like candy canes!” because if that’s what you got out of it, then so be it. Id say when tasting spirits or anything really, just let go of all the preconceived notions of what you think it WILL taste like and just focus on what you are experiencing at that moment. That being said here’s what I got out of what I tasted.

Botanivore Gin- very light and soft spice aroma with a very peppery and herbal taste. This would make a fun Dry Martini or Half and Half style Dry Martini with some of Degroff’s Pimento or Bitter Truth Celery Bitters.

Terroir Gin- Pleasant spice aroma, little cinnamon and spice with a very herbal and slightly flowery taste. I think this could make a fun Negroni, Collins or a French 75 with some Regans Orange bitters, yum:)

Dry Rye Gin- Very malty and geneverish (I’m making that a word) aroma with a mellow, clean malt grain flavor. This is an exciting base for an original cocktail, I think could also be subbed for vodka in some recipes like the Moscow Mule or even a classic Bloody Mary that you want to add that malt, grain character.

Single Malt Whiskey- This had a really fun marshmallow and cocoa aroma with toasted marshmallow, slightly smoky taste with a clean astringent finish that does carry a lingering smoke character as well. This whiskey is called a Single Malt meaning all malted barley from a single distillery.

B & E Bourbon Whiskey- Slightly vegetal, woody aroma with a sweet and smooth flavor with a touch of toasty, smoke. B & E Bourbon is not distilled in California, rather it is blended by the St George crew utilizing different Bourbons from Kentucky. They figure many spirit producers get there distillates from others and slap their label on it, instead St. George lets you know up front. B & E is an expression of the art of blending.

St. George Absinthe Verte- This was my favorite. Such a pleasant surprise for an absinthe to be this light yet flavorful and to have a smooth texture that is not syrupy. With an almost perfumy, anise and citrus aroma and a flavor of licorice candy and sweet citrus undertones it reminded me of black licorice Necco wafers. If finished nice and clean yet had a lingering almost numbing effect on the tongue that I thought was pretty fun. I really cant wait to play with this one.

Agua Libre Rum- This is a sugar cane distillate, much like a Cachaca but more specifically a Rhum Agricole or 10 Cane. This stuff has a really funky, fun aroma of green olives and fermented sugar. I picked up on Natto (fermented soybeans) as a specific aroma. If you’ve ever had Natto you’ll know what I mean. The flavor was clean and crisp with a little smoke and a touch of mint or an herbal note on the end. I cannot wait to get this in a Caipirinha (or I guess Caipirissima) or a classic Daiquiri. Yum!

For more information on St. George Spirits check out

To find St. George products online they reccomend

And for amazing craft cocktails be sure to head to Commonwealth at 525 East Fremont St


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